Get help from Small Business BC with these resources:
Register Your Business
On this page, you’ll find information on how to apply for a business name, and how to register with BC Registry Services, WorkSafeBC, the Ministry of Finance, and Canada Revenue Agency.
Review existing trademarks
Before naming your business, review existing trademark and intellectual property records. Choosing a name that infringes on the intellectual property of another business could result in legal action.
- To check names registered in B.C., see the Name Request Online Search Tool.
- To check Canadian federal trademarks, use the Canadian Trademarks Database.
- If you intend to expand your business, consider checking databases across other provinces.
Apply for a business name
Contact: BC Registry Services
Timeline: 1-3 days
Once you've chosen a name, submit a name request application to BC Registry Services, they will check the availability of your business name and determine whether it is valid for registration.
You can submit a name request application in several places:
- Online: using BC Registry Services’ Name Requests Online.
- In person: at OneStop service counters or Service BC.
- By mail: Download the Name Approval Request form from OneStop.
Your business name may also require approval from:
- Your municipal hall.
- The Liquor Control and Licensing Branch, if you intend to serve alcohol.
Once BC Registry Services has processed your application for a business name, you will receive a Name Request Number, or NR number. Within 56 days, use this number to register your business with BC Registry Services (see below).
Register your business
You must register your business with the following government agencies:
BC Registry Services
Contact: BC Registry Services
Timeline: Sole proprietorship or partnership - up to 2 days; Incorporation - up to several weeks.
Within 56 days of receiving your Name Request Number (NR number), you'll need to register your business as either a:
- Sole Proprietorships or Partnerships: register at OneStop.
- Incorporations: register at B.C. Corporate online.
Once registered, you will receive a Business Number (BN). Your BN can be used as an identifier for remitting taxes to government, Canada pension premiums, EI premiums, and making WorkSafeBC payments.
Businesses that hire workers (full-time, part-time, casual or contract) are required by law to register with WorkSafeBC. Register for WorkSafeBC when you register your business, in order to ensure you're covered. Complete your registration at OneStop or through WorkSafeBC.
Ministry of Finance
Registration with the Ministry of Finance is necessary for Provincial Sales Tax (PST) remittance. Complete your registration online at OneStop.
For more information on how to register, collect, or remit Provincial Sales Tax (PST) see the PST page.
For PST information specific to Restaurants and Liquor Sellers see: PST Bulletin PST 119 – Restaurants and Liquor Sellers (PDF).